Marie-France bru and bernard bru on dice games and contracts

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This note introduces Marie-France and Bernard Bru's forthcoming book on the history of probability, especially its chapter on dice games, translated in this issue of Statistical Science, and its commentary on the history of fair price in the settlement of contracts. As the Brus remind us, the traditions of counting chances in dice games and estimating fair price came together in the correspondence between Pascal and Fermat in 1654. To solve the problem of dividing the stakes in a prematurely halted game, Fermat used combinatorial principles that had been used for centuries to analyze dice games, while Pascal used principles that had been proposed in previous centuries by students of commercial arithmetic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalStatistical Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


  • De vetula
  • Dice games
  • Emergence of probability
  • Expectation


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